Joint press release by the German Environment Agency and the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety

German Sustainable Building Award launched

BMU and UBA to award first national prize for sustainable buildings, neighbourhoods and ecological innovation

moderner Holzbau mit Flachdach im GrünenClick to enlarge
The category “Non-residential buildings” is for sustainable and energy efficient public buildings.
Source: Umweltbundesamt

Everyone is talking about sustainability, including the building industry. An apt topic for conversation is an award the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMU) and the German Environment Agency (UBA) have announced today. The new award for sustainable buildings, neighbourhoods and ecological innovation (Bundespreis Umwelt und Bauen) will be awarded in 2020 for the first time and aims to distinguish projects that are exemplary role models of sustainability, not only in the classic areas of building stock and new build, but also in five further categories. All stakeholders in the building sector are eligible to enter the contest. The deadline for entries is 15 April 2020. Svenja Schulze, Federal Minister for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety, is the contest patron.

Ever more builders and planners whose wish to combine a high degree of functionality and architectural quality with climate action and environmental protection is producing many exciting projects. The projects are real examples of the many advantages – including cost – of sustainable construction throughout the life cycle.

Federal Environment Minister Svenja Schulze said: “This is the very aim of the Bundespreis Umwelt und Bauen award: firstly, to cast a spotlight on the range of what can be done today in terms of construction and technology, and secondly, to raise the visibility of outstanding projects and encourage others to follow their example.”

President Dirk Messner of the German Environment Agency said: “The aim is to generate integrated solutions that include the aspects of technology, building design and its environment. Projects planned on greenfield sites are most definitely not eligible for award. No other competition evaluates the interplay of environment and building as much as this contest.”

About the award: The national award covers the categories "residential buildings", "Non-residential buildings", "Neighbourhoods", and "Sustainability and Innovations" to reflect the full scope of sustainable construction. Special focus in the first two categories is placed on energy upgrades in building stock as this is the area where the greatest challenges lie in terms of climate change mitigation.

In addition to these contest categories, the BMU and UBA are awarding three special prizes for particularly innovative approaches. “Resilience” and “Sufficiency” represent a category focused on adaptation to climate change and strategies to reduce resource consumption. Building projects that take aspects such as biodiversity into special consideration and thereby contribute to the protection and realization of “city nature” will also be rewarded. The third category “Building Shell & Construction Product” focuses on novel solutions involving innovative materials and structural design.

Conditions of participation: The broad thematic spectrum encourages all stakeholders in the building industry to enter the contest: builders, property developers, architect offices, technical building services, urban and landscape planners, material manufacturers, and even research institutions. The announcement is aimed at completed building projects in Germany or neighbourhoods in the advanced stages of planning. Multiple applications in various categories is possible.

What winners can expect: Award winners can look forward to arousing public awareness at a number of levels. The awards ceremony takes place on 29 September at a conference about sustainable construction at the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety in Berlin. The conference will present the winning projects to experts and the media. Videos and other information will introduce the projects to visitors of the UBA and Environment Ministry’s dedicated webpages. UBA will be producing video clips which the prize winners can then use for their own public relations work. Finally, a book with a compilation of all the prize-winning projects will be published.

To find out more about the terms and conditions of participation in the Bundespreis Umwelt & Bauen contest and the selection procedure, go to UBA at:

Deadline: 15 April 2020

Note to editorial office staff:

Please direct enquiries concerning the “Bundespreis Umwelt und Bauen“ to the Press Office at the German Environment Agency: felix [dot] poetschke [at] uba [dot] de; phone: (+49) 340-2103-2245

or to

Projektbüro Bundespreis Umwelt & Bauen
c/o Öko-Zentrum NRW GmbH
Sachsenweg 8
59073 Hamm
phone: (+49) 2381 / 30220-99;
e-mail: bundespreis-umwelt-und-bauen [at] oekozentrum-nrw [dot] de

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